searle_paper - Victoria Yakovleva Philosophy 101 Professor...

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Victoria Yakovleva Philosophy 101 Professor Shapiro 20 November 2006 In “Minds, Brains, and Programs,” John R. Searle argues against the claim of strong artificial intelligence, particularly against the claim that a programmed computer can understand and have other cognitive states. He states that, though a computer may spit back answers to questions concerning a story, that does not necessarily mean that the computer understands the story; that just means that the computer is capable of manipulating formal symbols. To prove this point, Searle uses the analogy of a man who has no knowledge of Chinese receiving a large batch of Chinese writing. This man is then given a second batch of Chinese writing with a set of rules in English for correlating the second batch with the first batch. Moreover, this man is then given a third batch of Chinese writing to correlate to the first two batches. These three batches parallel a script, a story, and questions about the story that are given to a computer. The Chinese symbols
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